This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 13th January 2020:
Nothing in this section this week!
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Deals from this week
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Hello there. Good morning and welcome to this, the WP Builds weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 97 it covers the WordPress news for the week, commencing the 13th of January, 2020 and it was published on Monday the 20th of January, 2020 my name's Nathan Wrigley, and just before we begin, a few bits of housekeeping, head over to WP Builds.com forward slash, subscribe, and over there you're going to be able to find all of the ways that we can communicate with you and you can keep in touch with all that we're doing.
There is a form. Well, in fact, there's two forms. One, to subscribe to our newsletter, which alerts you to the content that we put out, and one which subscribes you to a different newsletter, which alerts you every time we hear about a WordPress deal. Oh, also on there, you'll be able to join our Facebook group of over 2,300 WordPress's.
It's very nice and very friendly. And then there's other things like our YouTube channel and options to subscribe on your favorite podcast player. We do put out various bits of content each week. Usually it's a podcast on a Thursday and a news thing that you're listening to now on a Monday and at 2:00 PM UK time.
We also do a live news with three or four notable people from the WordPress space chatting live on a video, and if you come to our Facebook group or go to WP Builds.com forward slash live, you can join in the chat and we'll post your comments onto the screen. Another page is the deals page. WP Builds.com forward slash deals over there.
You're going to be able to avail yourself of loads of WordPress coupon codes. It's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, and finally, WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. You can advertise your product or service in front of a WordPress specific audience. That'd be like Kinsta. Are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting?
If so, check out Kinsta, who takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level, powered by the Google cloud platform. All their plans include PHP seven SSH and 24 seven expert support, and you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com and we do thank Kinsta because they really do help us put this episode helped.
Speaking of episode, let's get on with it. Shall we? Let's find out what happened in the world of WordPress. During the last week, we always group our news into different sections, and we always start with WordPress core, but today we can't because I was not able to find anything, which I thought was under the banner of WordPress core.
So we'll just move swiftly on to the community section. The first piece of news I've got for you today comes from post status. It's entitled introducing a new chapter with Cory Miller as a post status partner. So Cory Miller is now the co owner and partner of post status. Brian has been running post status, for many, many years giving us.
Tons and tons of great content and news and so on, all about the WordPress community, but now his joined forces, or rather Corey Miller, who used to be the CEO, he was the founder of themes while he sold that a little while ago, and he is now . yeah, like we say, he's the co owner of post status, so hopefully going forward they'll be able to produce heaps of new content.
So WordPress is like you and I can benefit from that. Apparently they've known each other for a very long time and this has felt like it was a, a kind of match made in heaven. I think Brian and Corey see eye to eye on an awful lot of things and by the sounds of it are great friends. So anyway, good luck Corey and Brian for the future.
Seem to have had a little bit of a shakeup in the hosting space this week. Two notable WordPress hosts, specific WordPress hosts, I should say, flywheel and WP engine have amended their pricing, or at least, well, in the case of flywheel, they've introduced something that they took away. of course.
Flywheel is actually owned by WP engine. So I suppose these two companies change in their pricing at the same time. Yeah, kind of reflects what you would expect. But flywheel, I've actually introduced their new tiny option a, it's called tiny because it's the smallest one that they do. It's $13 a month or it's $150 per year.
It's for one WordPress website 500 months. Visitors, sorry, 5,000 visitors per month. and you know, it's a fairly small container you can pay annually or monthly for that. Anyway, they've obviously brought that back and coinciding with that, WP engine have actually lowered their pricing. They've gone from $35 per month for their startup plan down to $30 a month.
And the pricing of a few of the other plans is actually remained identical. If you're a WP engine customer. You don't actually need to do anything. It says no additional action is required on your part. so hopefully if you're on that planet should just flip down to the new pricing. I feel like this is something to do with the competition.
I know that companies, like for example, have their pricing set at $30, or at least that was the last time I looked. So I wonder if WP engine is just trying to dissuade people from using rivals by offering similar pricing. If you're a WordCamp goer and live in Texas, you might be interested to know that word camp Houston is returning after 10 years.
WordPress Tevin rights. So apparently it's been mothballed for 10 years, but, the community has decided to resurrect it. It's going to be taking place on may the ninth to the 10th at the Hilton Houston, NASA, clear light. they're expecting 250 to 300 people. It's being organized in part by Christina Hawkins and, yeah.
The idea really is that you get involved, they're accepting speaker applications until the 29th of February, and also it looked by the look of it thereafter, some sponsors as well to make the event run more smoothly. Christina Hawkins is organizing this, and so you can, well, if you click on the links in the.
In the posts that I've linked to in our show notes, then you'll be able to find out all about that. An interesting little fact is that Matt Mullenweg, the co founder of WordPress is actually a Houston native. He was born there, so it kind of feels like this would be a, a really, well, a place which ought perhaps to have a word camp.
Staying with WordPress Tevin we have an article entitled can the block directory and business interests co-exist just in Tadlock has penned this piece, and I think it's a really important one and flags up a very important issue, especially if you are a plugin developer. In version 5.5 of WordPress, we are going to get the, the new block directory, and this is going to in many ways replicate the way that we can currently, install plugins.
So the idea being you would have a, a problem that you need solving and you would go and find an individual block and install it from the directory. Now, at the moment, although you are not supposed to be, creating. Revenue directly from wordpress.org you've, you've been there, you've installed plugins.
You know how this works. Lots of plugin authors, they managed to parcel into their plugins, upsells, ways of generating revenue for premium versions of the, the free version of the plugin on wordpress.org and that at the moment is completely fine, but it does. I mean that lots of plugin developers are generating revenue in a sense from wordpress.org now, the new block directory has a, has some guidelines attached to it, and the following is in those guidelines.
Block plugins are blocks. They must not include advertisements, prompts, or promotional messages. So if this is in fact the way it's going to go forwards, I can see that there'll be a future where essentially plugins kind of fade away, blocks take over. But if this guideline is the case, you're not in any way, shape, or form allowed to promote your premium offering.
So we'll just have to see what the community thinks about this. I suppose for version 1.0 it would be a bit silly to allow everybody who creates a block to push their advertising messages or promotional messages, because perhaps it'll just be deluged from day one and be a real, you know, real switch off for everybody.
So maybe this will change over time. Anyway, this is an interesting piece. We'll have to see what the future brings. We know that WordPress. it has a very strong commercial arm to it, if you know what I mean. Plugin developers and theme developers can monetize their, their products. and we'll have to see how blocks go, but yeah.
Interesting direction from the outset. Each and every year for the last, well, I don't know, probably eight or nine years, Pippin Williamson has created his year in review piece, and the beginning of January, now the company that he runs is no longer called Pippin's plugins. It's now called sand Hills development.
So that is where I'm directing you today. But essentially it's. The exact same post. It is always fascinating to see what a company of the magnitude and the importance of Sandhills development, AKA Pippins plugins, is doing and reading all of their very, very interesting work. I mean, he's very up front.
He says it as it is. He talks about the things, the struggles that they've had this year. Plans for the future, but always for me, I find myself drawn to the revenue and profit section where the, where he talks about the actual numbers involved. And this year they essentially had revenue of very, very close to three point $5 million.
they go on to explain exactly how that money was spent. So the vast majority of it went on payroll, followed by insurance. Oh. Ouch. banking fees and so on and so forth. And then he talks about the different products that they've gotten, how much, how much of the revenue generated was by per products.
So for example, affiliate WP was the largest, it was one point, while nearly 1.3 million easy digital downloads just slightly over 1 million. And then there are other. Products, for example, restrict content pro was nearly half a million and so on and so forth. It talks about the team, the fact that they've got six new people who've joined over the last last year, talks about the kind of content that they've done and how they're supporting customers going forwards.
And then he has a. Plugging by plugging breakdown of exactly what's been done in each of those plugins. So I just think it's wonderful a company, so honest and forthright showing us exactly what it is that they've done and what they're intending to do next year. So Bravo for this piece. If you're a woo commerce user and likes statistics and like to know all about the, the longevity and the popularity of woo commerce.
It's an interesting piece over at bond two plugins. It's at dot co. Dot. UK. It's entitled how many websites use WooCommerce usage stats and infographics for 2019. Well, according to the infographic, the, the current download total for WooCommerce is 58 and a half, a million. And according to built with that, they are reporting that nearly 3 million.
So 2.9 million websites are currently using WooCommerce. that kind of breaks down in a sort of slightly interesting way, that is to say that far you've. 0.3% of the top a million websites are actually using WooCommerce. So this is a sizeable proportion. It's not massive, but obviously it has nowhere near the reach of WordPress itself.
But it's interesting. And then the article goes on to sort of divide up all these statistics in greater details. So for example. Percentage of online stores use WooCommerce as opposed to things like, for example, Magento and Shopify and open cart and so on. And there's some nice pie charts for that and various other things.
How do we become a stats and market share compare to other WordPress e-commerce plugins? So things like w WP, eCommerce, EDD, and market presence, other ones, and it's, it's huge. It's the absolute giant in the room. So yeah. Anyway, if you're using weave commerce and you. Kind of like getting a bit nerdy on statistics.
This is the piece for you. This next piece is a little bit quirky. I didn't really know where to fit it in, but I've popped it into the community section. It's actually an email that I received. I am what's called an Amazon associate, and that means that, for example, they will provide me with affiliate links should I wish to sell things on Amazon.
But as a part of that, they send out an email campaign, and I was just intrigued that this week I got an email campaign from . Amazon, with the title, how to start your own WordPress blog. So they're kind of, in a sense, trying to promote people to, to use WordPress in order to create, well, I guess websites where people talk about products that are available on Amazon.
Nevertheless, it's interesting. So they talk about how to set up a WordPress. Blog as they call it, how to earn money from that blog, and then what are the hosting options? Now I'm assuming that they're going to be talking about AWS and things like that. I didn't read it, but I just thought it was interesting that Amazon is firmly putting themselves in the space of, well, if you want to set up a website, use WordPress.
Staying again on WordPress, having, we have an article entitled to Dolly platform launches, provides tools to build and deploy pre-configured WordPress installs, and I'm just going to quote from the top. It says Stratus five a company that specializes in cloud container management and business service automation launched Dolly.
Today Dolly is a cloud based eCommerce solution for WordPress developers looking to provide white label hosting services to their customers. Customers, sorry. The platform allows developers and agencies to sell custom pre-configured WordPress solutions to their clients. And then it goes on to explain how it works, the sort of containerized nature of it.
the platform uses, for example, Docker containers and runs a stack including engine X, PHP 7.3 Reddis and Percona DB. And essentially it just explains how it all works. So if that intrigued you, and this is a space that you're interested in, you've now got a new option. Dolly. Okay, let's move right along.
The next section is entitled or plugins or themes and blocks, and it's quite a few stories this week. The first one is over on the power pack addons for Beaver builder, and they've got a new registration form module for Beaver builder, so it's exactly what you'd expect. You now have the ability within the Beaver builder interface itself using this module to customize the way that.
People register for your site. As you can imagine, they're trying to sort of move you in a different direction from the default WordPress options. And so you've got loads and loads of options in here. There's some sort of prebuilt templated ones, which look really nice, but the customization options are enormous.
You can change what fields are presence on that form. So for example, you could say, you know, you've got set a username right. Password. You've got to confirm the password. You could go for first name, last name, require a website, address, some sort of static texts that you can put in there, perhaps a consent field and so on.
And then there's the options, obviously to style it all, add padding, colors and so on. You can then set what user role or permissions you'd like to have. There's things like the validation message, a kind of strength of a password that's required recapture. Possibilities and so on. So yeah, really great.
Really, really interesting and very, very welcome for BeaverBuilder users. No doubt. Speaking of page builders. The next one is to do with Elementor. They're on their sixth monthly template kit each month. For the last six months, they've been releasing a completely free template kit with absolutely loads and loads of different options to simply drag sections, columns, and hold pages into the element or interface.
This is the sixth one, and it's. Called the magazine template kit. So it's kind of things like different layouts for magazines, blog, louts, and so on and so forth. My, my greatest suggestion, I suppose, would be go and check it out. The, there's absolutely loads. It includes things like popups and sidebars and different options for
Things like, I don't know, travel and food and drink options and tables of contents and mix header sections and four Oh four pages, the list goes on. So again, nice freebie from elemental, well done guys. Well, we've covered BeaverBuilder and Elementor, so not to be left out. We have Devi this week we have, it's actually oddly over on the toolset website.
We have a video tutorial. Should you be a tool set user and a DV user? They've put together a video in which it explains how you can use, the DV interface combined with toolset to build different parts of a site. so yeah, you would need to have those two things going for you. and it also explains that, you know, this stuff is entirely possible.
For example, with other page builders, like the two we already mentioned. In some situations it's very desirable to have some sort of audit log for everything that's happened on your WordPress installation and a great plugin to do that is WP security audit log. Well, they have updated, they have version four and the title of this post is.
WP security audit log version for the all new easier to read WordPress activity log. And so Robert Abella explains that, yes, starting 2020 we've got this new interface. They, the claims that they're making are, it's a lot easier to kind of get. Get out the information that it is that you would like to, to look at.
So it's easier to read in the WordPress back end. They've got new metadata in the activity logs. They've got an improved log message format, more activity log severity levels. So, so for example, they've got critical high, medium, low and informational, and improved activity logs, granularity with things like search and filter.
And there's a bunch of other little. improvements as well, which they append to the bottom. So if you're using this already, just go and update. If not, maybe it's time to look. If you are an I theme security user, you might be interested to know that they have a post entitled. I think security now includes security check pro and CCPA changes in pro.
So this is all about IP detection and essentially they've added a feature which was in the pro version into the non-pro version. So if you are using the, the free. Well, the non-pro version, shall we say, then you can now have the ability to check IPS that visit your sites, and that should all be done correctly.
Even if they are for the site is, for example, behind some kind of proxy and there is a pro enhancement which you can get if you update to 6.3 of the plugin and it says you can customize the proxy detection settings in the ICM security pro global settings. If you don't know how to do this, you can let it do all of this automatically.
But it will check every day, and if any of your server configurations have changed, which would have broken this, then it will automatically adjust itself. So that's quite nice. There are four different options. There's security check, scam, automatic, manual or disabled. And also. They're pointing out the fact that the California consumer privacy act went into effect at the beginning of the year and they are using, whether that is to say, I think security are using a company called Maxim mind in order to do geo location lookups, and you will now need, if you are hoping to use this along with think security, you will now need a, an actual Maxim mind account.
So you'll need to go and sign up for that anyway, some minor, but interesting developments over at, I think security. The guys over at WPM U dev for quite a while now have had their formulator plugin and it's really a very, very capable form plugin. And there is a, you know, it's free. So what more could you want a capable form plugin, which is free, the incumbent free plugging, the one that's been around for the longest time, and I suppose probably has got the most installations, is contact form seven so now in this article entitled importing all your contact form seven data to form an eater.
Is now possible and simple. They're saying that essentially with version 1.11 of four Mineta, you can now do that with a click button interface. Essentially, you go into the settings, you identify all of your contact form seven forms that you've got on your site. You tick if you've used any of the contact form seven add on.
So for example, the, the honeypot option or conditional fields, things like that, or recapture and click begin important. Allegedly, it will. The work. Now they do say that, look, nothing's perfect in this world. There may be some unsupported fields and settings. So essentially they're saying, once you've imported everything, go and check.
It works to be 100% sure. But anyway, if you are a contact form seven user and you wanted something which they claim is superior and you don't want the hassle of having to reinvent everything, hopefully this will help. We have a section called deals from this week, and I've got one for you this week.
It's the WP reset a lifetime deal. You'll have to click on the link in the show notes and you'll be taken to us a page which says that you can get, well, at the time I was reading this out, there were only 68 of 500 agency licenses left. So there are still some left. The sale ends on the 23rd of January, but if you would like to use WP reset to basically set your WordPress website back in time and make it as if it was vanilla.
So, you know, cleaning things up. it's a bit like time machine, I suppose, on a Mac then. Yeah, it's available and it's on lifetime deal right now. The other things that I want to mention are under the banner of security. I'm not going to go into the details of this. I found it too difficult. And, essentially it, I don't really get across what I'm trying to get across.
So I'm just gonna mention the names and here are the things for this week. And I think some of them are actually fairly severe. So worth mentioning. Wordfence say that there's a critical authentication bypass vulnerability in infinite WP client plugin. So if that name rings a bell, you should most certainly be checking out the Wordfence article.
What friends also have an article entitled easily exploitable vulnerabilities patched in WP database reset. Plugin, and again, if that plugin rings a bell, go and check it out. I often like to mention the roundups that some of the security solutions in WordPress do, and this time around, I'm mentioning the themes one, it's called the WordPress vulnerability Roundup January, 2020 and the reason I like this is because you can just scroll through it and look at the thumbnails of each of the plugins along with their name in sort of H two size fonts.
And you can think, Oh, I recognize that plugin, I've got that installed somewhere so. And you wait. There's a whole bunch of things that have happened this month. 30 maybe 40 or more vulnerabilities that have been detected. So go check that out. And last, but by no means least, this is an interesting one.
This is a tutorial about security. It's a beginner's guide for WordPress users for SQL injection. So this, as I said, is on the kin stir blog, and you can go and see what an SQL injection is. How does an SQL injection vulnerability work? What types there are, how to prevent them. And so on and so forth. So yeah.
Interesting stuff. The enormously self-promotional WP build section three things for you. This week, David Walmsley and I put out a podcast episode. It was number 162 it's entitled information overload, and it's about the kind of messaging that we put out to our clients. Are we overdoing it? Are we getting our message right?
You know, is is the the day of putting people onto drip sequences where you. Give them a message each and every day. Is it too much? How much is too much? And so we talk around that subject. We're following the book, watertight marketing by Briony Thomas, and it was a nice little charter had with him. And then we produced two other things this week.
The first one was a live UI UX review with peach and nary. We did that on Wednesday last week, and we go through. Three different sites, including WP Ultimo and a couple of others, and talk about their UX and she made suggestions. So as always, she's full of knowledge and go and check it out. It's just, I always learn something new each and every time we do those.
So they're very, very nice and dated. I'm pointing you to a YouTube link in this particular case. And lastly, I thought it might be quite interesting. Because I've never done this before. I keep talking about the WordPress weekly news, the live on that we do and never linked to them. So I'm linking you to last week's, it was me, Bernard gronow, Meg Fen, and Paul Lacey on the call this week.
It will be some different people, but, anyway, I'm blinking to last week's WordPress news live and you can join us Monday 2:00 PM UK time, WP Bill's dot com forward slash live. We have a job section, but I've got nothing for you this week. A little bit like the WordPress core at the top of the show, so I'm just going to move swiftly on and go go to the WordPress.
Well, not WordPress, but useful anyway. I've got three things for you today. If you're a window seven user, then you may like to know that the, it's coming to its end of life. In other words, they're not going to be creating patches or updates for it in the future. But if you go to the bleeping computer website, he has a way of, well, hopefully so long as it still exists, of getting updated for free to windows 10 there's this little loophole where you have to sort of go through, well, essentially you follow the steps that he suggests and it uses the media creation tool and using that, you can get yourself a free upgrade, which is really a peculiar quirk and obviously one that Microsoft intended to be used, but.
Possibly didn't want to be widely known, but anyway, there you go. If you've got windows seven machine, you can get it updated to windows 10 so long as that still exists. Now, here's an interesting one on search engine journal. I really, really thought that what I'm about to say was true, and it turns out not to be true structured.
Data is not actually a ranking factor. And I kind of assumed it was. So the article is entitled, Google structured data has no impact on ranking in web search. This all came to light because there was a food blogger who got an email saying that it would be, it would be better if, for example, she included calorie count data to her food, blogs and so on.
Quite know how they got in touch with her. Anyway, she was under the impression that if she didn't supply this calorie counts structured data, then it would, it would ruin her search results listings and Google got back in touch because there was a bit of a tweet storm to say, no, no, no, no. This is not the case at all.
It merely gives end users a better experience. It will. Provide information to them, which hopefully ultimately will get you more clicks because you're being more helpful. But it doesn't actually, it doesn't actually alter whether or whether or not things get ranked. So misunderstanding, certainly on my part now cleared up.
The very last thing I've got for you today. I have no memory of where I came across this, but this is very cool indeed. It's a tool. It's called pine tools.com and it is just one website with just loads and loads of tools that I'm . Really surprised. They're all in one place. But here they are. So for example, there's all sorts of things to do with mathematics.
There's ways to lighten and darken colors on particular things that you want to use. So for example, you could lighten an image, a dark and an image. There are ways of creating like list randomizes. You can sort list. There's ways to generate lists of numbers, random numbers. You can flip images, dark and images change the brightness of images.
There's date and time. ways of sort of changing dates and times. You can create random numbers. You can split files, join files, base 64 in code files, and there's a syntax highlights or a CSS in line at a neaten things up, an HTML and CSS, beautify or adjacent format. and this is all on one page. It's crazy.
So go and check it out. If any of that looked or sounded fun, it's all there in one place. Absolutely brilliant. Anyway, that's it. That's all I've got for you. For this week's WordPress we can use. I hope that you got something out of it and that it was useful to you. The WP Builds weekly WordPress newsletter was brought to you today by Kinsta.
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At Kinsta dot com join us at 2:00 PM UK time on Monday for the live version of this news. Maybe we'll see you on Thursday for the next podcast, or maybe it'll be a whole week until you listen to the news again. Either way, I hope you have a good week and bye bye for now.
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